Pasha/Sabra -- I was a little disappointed. I expected to like these two together more, but unlike the judges, I really got no connection between them at all. Sorry. I didn't like the choreography of the first one (Tyce strikes again!!) and sorry to say, but Julianne & Apolo danced THAT VERY SONG to a Quickstep and theirs? Was much better. MUCH! That flying leap that Sabra did? Julianne and Apolo BOTH did it a few times TOGETHER and in perfect sync. I still like them both, but together, eh.
Dominic/Lauren -- Here was something I wish I hadn't been spoiled on. I knew Lauren fell; I wish I'd been able to see if I would have caught it myself. I think I would have, but still. Obviously the Lauren-haters were all annoyed that Nigel praised her recovery and didn't bang her for the fall, BUT ... as someone who HAS danced (albeit not much) and who HAS fallen, sometimes, I know that how you recover from a fall shows just how GOOD a dancer you are. And Lauren? Damn, DAMN good recovery. (PS: My fall? My recovery landed me the loudest applause of the night. I made 'em think it was part of the routine. Woohoo! Go me!!) I liked the choreography, but agree that I didn't think it HIT hard enough. Their second number was sexy, but again, Apolo/Julianne, Rumba, I noticed the lack of swiveling hip action (Apolo's claim to DwtS fame) from Dom. They were sexy though, it was a gorgeous dress and I was surprised that they actually kissed at the end. The cynic in me thinks Lauren came up with the idea because "showmances" can get people more votes and hoped for fan help in that department. Yep, I still hate her.
Danny/Sara -- Lovely girl, lovely dancer, sadly, she's just completely forgettable to me. Danny, on the other hand, has now become my second favorite guy. I don't know what he did tonight that sold him to me, but I'm rooting for Danny in the top four now. (If he replaces my Neil, which is likely because Pasha is apparently mega-popular -- which I understand -- I'll be bummed, but I won't think that he doesn't deserve it.) I really liked their first routine, not so much Sara's outfit, but Danny was delectable and wonderful and delicious in it. The second? Well, "Push It" was another song that Apolo/Julianne danced too and I could not help but think of their sexy routine as opposed to the so-not-sexy and ridunkulous outfits here.
Neil/Lacey -- I really liked Diana Torres' choreography for Lacey/Kam's disco routine and I really liked her choreography here. I thought Neil looked FIIIINE!! and that Lacey looked lovely; I just wish that the yellow on her dress had been the same brown as Neil's pants to match them up. I didn't mind the sexiness in this dance for Lacey because I thought it was more sensual. I agreed more with Adam (who I loved tonight and, no, that's not just because I saw and LOVED!!!!!!!!! Hairspray) than Mary and Nigel here. There was some chemistry for me, but the connection COULD have been better and I do think that Neil was as much to blame as Lacey for the lack. Still, I thought they danced beautifully and were perfectly in sync through the first part of the dance. And I loved the one section where Neil had his arms around her and made a fist before pulling his arm back. It was just cool.
As for the second ... here's the big 'I wish I wasn't spoiled' moment. I would have liked to go into this blind because I was already geared up for it because I was spoiled. Ah well. Someone said on the TWoP thread if they wondered if the judges & audience would have been able to pick up the meaning of the dance had we not seen the package (ala Hok and the "Mr. Bogangles" dance). I do think we would have. Not that it was her father, no, but I certainly would have gotten the gist I believe with the song, the white, the flowers, the emotion and connection that Neil and Lacey displayed that it was about someone, a loved one, who had died and the two were reunited in heaven. So beautiful job by Mia. The costumes, musical choice, stage decoration, all of it was perfect. As for the dancing ...
I loved Neil. I personally thought that he did sell the "father" aspect sooooo well, in that first smile, especially. He really threw himself completely into the routine and looked beautiful doing so. Lacey? Was utterly divine. Anyone who's read my comments knows I'm not her biggest fan, but I think she shone the brightest tonight for this routine alone. She was so light and airy and beautiful. She danced with a sense of peaceful abandon that sold the story that Mia was telling through her choreography. Just lovely, lovely. So many moments stood out beautifully, my favorite being the part they showed in the recap (yay!) where they both leapt in the air and then he caught her and spun her around in his arms.
I thought it was a truly, truly beautiful routine and I do think that Mia, when on, is a genius.
Bottom two guesses: Lauren/Dominic (more for her than him)
Sara/Danny (for her, not him)
Going home?: Dominic for sure and I don't know for the girls. Again, likr Jamie, Sara's more kinda middle of the road and Lauren, at least, inspires emotion. I'd LOVE to say Lauren, but I won't bet on it.
P.S. I'm thinking Lacey's gonna win over Sabra now because the compliments to Sabra are TOO obvious, too over the top and too much. Whereas Lacey is still getting compliments, but with the you can do this small thing better, that small thing better which gives her the underdog factor. And it's all about ratings and headlines and internet talk for Nigel and how much attention would Benji's sister!!! winning the following year do for him? Uh huh.
Also, I really want a still shot of When Neil put his head on Lacey during the judges comment section, I don't remember which routine it was after, but it was an adorable shot and I want!!! So any help in finding it is appreciated. :)
Top Chef: Brian Malarky is my favorite and I want him to win, but I'll be cool with Casey, C.J. or Trey winning because I like all four at this point. I'm so glad that Joey went instead of Sara who I totally thought would. When he said "I wasn't paying attention" in his defense, that, to me, was the ringing sign ... dude should go home. However, if Howie's ass had been sent packing, I wouldn't have complained. Blech!!